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$75 million new gift from alumni Amy and Richard Wallman for professorships at University
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$75 million new gift from alumni Amy and Richard Wallman for professorships at University

University of Chicago alumni Amy Wallman, and Trustee Richard Wallman, have made a $75 million commitment that will dramatically enhance UChicago’s capacity to advance high-potential scholarship through increased resources for faculty.

The Wallmans’ philanthropic commitment will launch a fundraising challenge aimed at inspiring other potential supporters to join them in raising a total of $150 million, which will create 30 new endowed professorships that will support ambitious scholarship in divisions and schools across the University.

“This generous commitment from the Wallmans will greatly support our world-class faculty and will accelerate the impact the University can have on the world,” said President Paul Alivisatos. “I am deeply grateful to Amy and Richard for their partnership and the ambition of their philanthropy, which will ensure that we can continue to recruit and retain the faculty who are making the most important contributions to human knowledge and society.”

“This remarkable gift, which has the potential to advance scholarship and research across so many fields, speaks volumes about Richard’s and Amy’s commitment to the University,” said David M. Rubenstein, JD’73, chair of UChicago’s Board of Trustees. “It is particularly inspiring that it comes so early in Richard’s board tenure.”

The $75 million donation, which is the largest donation in support of faculty chairs in the University’s history, is the Wallmans’ fifth significant gift to the institution. In 2017, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business named its academic high honors distinction, going to the top MBA students in each class, after the Wallmans. The Amy and Richard F. Wallman Scholars at Chicago Booth were named in recognition of the couple’s $75 million gift supporting student scholarships, co-curricular programming, faculty research and emerging priorities at the school.

“As a member of the Board of Trustees, I have gotten a clear view of the University—its mission and leadership,” said Richard Wallman. “President Alivisatos is an exceptional leader with a remarkable vision for the University of Chicago. Amy and I are excited to support that vision through our challenge.”

“This generous commitment from the Wallmans will greatly support our world-class faculty and will accelerate the impact the University can have on the world.”

Endowed professorships are instrumental in attracting eminent scholars deeply engaged in their fields, committed to making a positive impact on humanity. Growing UChicago’s cohort of endowed chairs is essential for maintaining competitiveness among peer institutions and attracting top talent in diverse fields.

The Wallmans will match new commitments of $2.5 million or more with matching funds of $2.5 million. Each professorship will be named for the individual donors who join the Wallmans’ challenge. The resulting cohort of faculty will be uniquely honored as the Wallman Society of Fellows, who, thanks to the resources that their chairs provide, will further distinguish themselves through their research and teaching, driving UChicago’s distinctive contributions to society.

“Having faculty who are both engaged in pioneering research, and dedicated to sharing knowledge with graduate and undergraduate students, is a defining feature of the University of Chicago,” said Provost Katherine Baicker. “The Wallman Society of Fellows will help ensure that we can attract and support world-renowned scholars for years to come.”

“We can look ahead to when 30 Wallman Fellows, with interests spanning the University from the humanities to molecular engineering, economics and public policy to biology and medicine, are at UChicago doing what we do best: defining new fields for knowledge that shape the world,” Alivisatos said. “These faculty will exemplify the best of how to unite academic scholarship with active work beyond the walls of the University to bring their ideas into impact in society to the benefit of humanity.”

After earning her MBA from Chicago Booth, Amy Wallman began her career at EY and retired as an audit partner in 2001. Richard Wallman began his career with the Ford Motor Company. He served as the chief financial officer and senior vice president of Honeywell International Inc., a diversified industrial technology and manufacturing company, and its predecessor AlliedSignal, from 1995 to 2003. He also served in senior financial positions with IBM and Chrysler Corporation.

“We are extremely pleased with our previous gifts, but we are particularly excited about the lasting and beneficial impacts on society that will result from the work of the Wallman Fellows initiative,” said Richard Wallman.

“We want to thank our parents for always being there for us and giving us encouragement and support,” said Amy Wallman. “They provided the foundation for us to be successful and to help enable that success in others through our philanthropy.”

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